A good planner (2013): The Balabusta’s Daily Organizer 15

I’m always looking for good tools to help me organize life. And I’ve found a great Jewish planner to help!

The Balabusta’s Daily Organizer

***Note: I purchased my own copy of this, and am not being given anything to post about it. But I wanted to pass the planner information on to anyone who is looking for a good one!***

This planner is made with the Jewish woman in mind. It’s got both a monthly page spread…

…and a weekly page spread.

Weekly page: to do list along the left page (with shopping list on the far left shaded area) and weekly schedule on the right (with menu planning space on the far right shaded area)

I love having the Hebrew dates easily accessible near the English ones, and I like having the holidays marked already. (It’s no problem if you don’t read Hebrew because everything is in English – see pictures for an example.) I still draw over them with a highlighter for easy identification, but at least I don’t have to guess if it’s the day of the evening before with this book. I like having Shabbat (the Sabbath) already scheduled in, including which parsha (Torah portion) each week has, and I like the Jewish inspiration sprinkled throughout the book (like, “The loudest noise in Creation is the sound of a person breaking a habit.” -Rav Yisrael Salanter).

The Balabusta’s Daily Organizer also has a good-sized section of planning pages in the back: candlelighting times for 24 cities (mostly US), pages for notes, a phone number and address section, a medical health info section, a weekly routine planning section, a 3-week menu planning section, recurring shopping lists, birthdays reminder, a borrow and loan record, Shabbat checklist, and an excerpt from Rebbetzin Kanievsky’s book. You may not use any of these, but you might find them useful, too.

Planning pages in the back

Here’s my overall review:

-Sept 2012-Dec 2013 covered in full
-separate weekly and monthly pages. Many calendars do one or the other, but I like having both.
-weekly to-do list side-by-side with the weekly calendar
-shopping list and menu plan next to the weekly calendar (see photos)
-Jewish holidays already put in, and Jewish dates already marked
-Jewish quotes throughout
-Spiral binding so a pen can stay with it
-planning pages in the back: menu, routine, birthdays, etc.

-too big for most purses / handbags
-monthly pages are interspersed with the weekly pages, so it doesn’t flow as well as it could.
-no way to mark place included – I’m using little post-it flags, but it would be nice if there was a ribbon, monthly tabs, or if the little to-do / menu sidebars were perforated like this secular one.

All told, this is a great planner for me. I’m mostly home-based, and usually scheduling something after an e-mail or phone call and not on the go. The post its come off and I replace them as needed, but I do find it frustrating to find the right page (maybe putting the months first for an overview, and then the weeks after for more details would help, too.) But the pros far outweigh the cons.

The Balabusta’s Daily Organizer could be the planner you are looking for!

Do you use a planner? Which one?

About Amital

A die-hard listmaker and observant Jewish mommy of 5, managing the challenges of life bit by bit with the help of a Shalom Bayit book and lists. And chocolate, of course. Lots of chocolate.

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15 thoughts on “A good planner (2013): The Balabusta’s Daily Organizer

  • Shaindy

    I used this planner for part of last year and LOVED the layout. The reason I stopped using it was because I started taking public transportation and couldn’t shlep it all over the place with me. I wish there was a web version! The one thing I didn’t like was that it was soft-cover, so the pages all got bent in my bag. Other than that, it was fantastic!

  • Shuli

    Amital- I’ve been using this for a while. I have a big purse so the size is fine, but I agree that a stronger binding would be better. there’s a suggestion email address in the back, I think I will email them. To keep the place, what I always do is keep a paper clip on the current page (or on a few pages to secure it better). That has worked absolutely fine for me.

  • Chani

    This is an AMAZING planner. I’ve used it for the past year and love it!! I use a paper clip and clip the current week to the month page so I can easily reference both.

  • Betsy

    there are post-it tabs that are meant for filing folders that you can write on and they don’t fall off. I am using the same ones for the third year, they still look good and still don’t fall off.

    I use one color for the months, plus other colors for other information like authors I like, 2014 calendar, addresses, etc.

    • Amital Post author

      That’s a great idea! I tried using some regular tiny tabs, but they kept coming off. And the paperclip other people recommend works pretty well, although if there is only one page clipped, it’s really tough to find. But I love the convenience and ease of tabs, so I’ll try it (BN).


  • Ellene

    Hi, I’m the graphic artist for the Balabusta’s Daily Organizer. I appreciate your comments. Let me respond to a few.

    Some of the “extras” suggested simply aren’t affordable — I wish they were! — because we only print 3,000 copies and not 300,000.

    Monthly tabs are unfortunately cost-prohibitive, but I put Post-It colored plastic tabs down the side on the monthly pages, and across the top I put a tab labelled “This week” that I keep moving, and also tab a few sections I use most often, like Addresses.

    I haven’t checked into the cost for a ribbon place marker.

    We perforated the shopping lists about 4 years ago. Some people like them; more people don’t. The problem we had with them was that the perfs can completely cut through with wear. If you like to keep the shopping list connected to the planner, that’s a problem.

    I’ve experimented with designing a smaller format planner. It looks very cute, but there’s very little room to write anything down, so at least to this point we haven’t produced one.

    I’d love to put out the planner for web or as an app — not sure where to begin with that.

    • Amital Post author

      Thanks for the feedback. I can understand how it would be cost-prohibitive. I’m experimenting with tabs and even just cutting out the list to make it obvious where I am.

      It would be easier to put all the months together and then the weeks after that – do you get that feedback from anyone else? And someone commented that there was shaimos somewhere in the book, which is something to worry about when you’re done with it.

      I think an app, especially one you could coordinate with google calendar, would be fantastic!


  • Sarah

    Amital, thanks so much for the great detailed review of this organizer. Reading your review was like picking it up in a store and examining it. It looks like something I may use in the future, but for now I’ve decided not to get it. I need something very transportable, and something I can add my own pages to. (I’m thinking a small leather-bound, binder-style planner.)

    Hope you have a great (organized) day!!

    • Lisa Thomas

      I wanted a notebook size desk top organizer with all the holidays and jewish information but for work, not to organize my home. My kids are grown and married and I am a working woman. I am in CT and there are no Shabbat times for CT. But this is the closest so far that I have found to what I am looking for. I just feel that there should be regular date books with all the jewish holidays and times. That is all the info we need. Maybe benching and a few morning prayers. I wish someone would come up with this. You?